Monday, November 18, 2013

Call Text Partnership

The Voice Software is partnering with CallText to build the next generation instant customer communication platform. TVS will be integrating its SonnetOS natural language processing algorithms into the CallText messaging system. Check out the Beta at CallText

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great Uncle Morse

My Great Uncle Morse has been getting some press lately on his 'choosing when to go' . I find his views disturbing and unsettling from many perspectives. I am writing this post from several very personal standpoints.

Many people whom I cared for are no longer here. My Grandmother died suddenly from a heart attack when I was a child. Then I did not understand the nature of death or really grasp the tragedy of human existence. I do remember the finality of her coffin falling swiftly into its concrete tomb.

The next person close to me to pass was my best friend from college. Jerry developed a cancer and died at the young age of 22. He was diagnosed on the same week he was to be the best man at my wedding. I remembered when I visited him only several months later and not being able to shake his hand or give him a hug because the treatments destroyed his immune system. He died two weeks later.

My father was the next to go several years after Jerry. He developed tongue cancer. Although the chemotherapy and radiation treatments destroyed his body I don't believe he ever gave up on the fight to continue. I never believed that he could die, but he did on February 17th.

His father, my grandfather, persevered despite the loss of his wife and 2 sons until 6 months before his 100th birthday. Although his body failed, his mind never faltered. He died with a grace and dignity that I could only hope to follow. My only regret is that he narrowly missed meeting his two adopted great-grandchildren by two weeks. My second beloved grandfather known by us grandkids as Baboo was the next to go. Then there was our friend Joe, another WWII veteran who walked the streets of Hiroshima, and crewed a minesweeper in Tokyo Bay. Most recently, my mother-in-law Helen passed several years ago. She is sorely missed every day by my family.

In all my experiences with death, not one of my friends and relatives went gently into that 'good' night. Every one of them struggled greatly against it and sucked the very marrow of life just for a few more days, hours, minutes for more time with us.

Death is inevitable for all of us, so it should not be feared, but it is not something that should be embraced like an old friend. Death is not romantic. Its nature is awful, messy, undignified and generally horrible. Even when we euthanize our pets, do we do it for their benefit or for ours? What would they say if given a voice?

I believe my Uncle Morse is misguided and insincere in his quest for death. To fault the medical establishment for not providing a 'healing' murder is an argument from absurdity. To 'do no harm' cannot coexist with 'unless'. We do make choices on our medical care, or simply chose not to partake. Either way our fate is still in the hands of the divine not in our own hubris, guilt or weakness. I implore Uncle Morse to cease this insanity and embrace the people around him in life. Euthanasia is not a right. It is an anathema to to the human condition. Life is a gift to all of us. It should be lived fully and not cast away when it becomes uncomfortable.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What have we done?

I was watching "It came beneath the sea" tonight. Its an admittedly cheesy movie minted in 1955, with stop gap motion animated octopus nonsense. While watching it I was struck by the lack of basic progress in technology our society has made in nearly sixty years. If you remove the emphasis on computers in modern films, as well as make some societal adjustments in gender relations and culture, the film may have been created today. In comparison to the same period, the technological and even sociological differences between 1900 and and 1955 seem light years away from each other.

In short, where are the flying cars I was promised?

What progress have we made since then? Nearly all of the discoveries and improvements we have made since then have been merely implementations of basic concepts discovered long ago. Even our generation's greatest technical realization, the digital computer, was conceived of (and to some degree implemented) in 1822. Will the the next wave of biotech and nano systems ever push human affairs forward to the same degree?

We may naively celebrate our contemporary advances, but to what real benefit in human affairs have we contributed? One may point to incremental advances in lifespan and quality of life, but can they really compare with the radical changes of the 1950s? In the majority, our 'advances' have been merely the refinement of concepts realized in the 50s.

Calvary->Tanks->No Change
Nothing->Antibiotics->No change
Wright->Jet Planes->No change
Nothing->Rockets->No Change


I see a profound lack of understanding and ignorance of basic concepts in contemporary society. We place higher value on feelings and fulfillment than on the realization of the 'ground truth' of a situation. Technology has become a crutch rather than a tool to realize our ascendancy. Perhaps we are merely suffering from a case of 'philosophical indigestion' that will pass like the stomach flu I had last week. But at the end of the day 'A=A', and no amount of liberal sympathy can change that.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Piza = Fail?

Is the leaning tower of Piza an example of failure?

Sure its a little tilted. But construction was started in 1173. Thats a really long time for a building to standup straight. It has not fallen down yet. Nearly all of its close calls were due to attempts to "fix" it.

How many emblems of civilization will stand up to that kind of time? The Empire State building? CN Tower? Burj Khalifa? Taipei 101? Sure they are all straight now. What happens in 500 years, 700, 1000? Will there even be an Canada?

So I say Kudos to Bonanno Pisano or whoever they decide actually designed the damn thing. You built a building that passed the test of time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ivory Towers of Hot Air

Two interesting developments this week in hot air circles.... The first one is the release of some hacked emails detailing the scientific 'debate' in global warming. I also find its interesting that the emails were initially released on a Russian server. Times have changed.

This is science at its finest! Transparency in science is a wonderful thing. Simply censor and boycott any person or journal that disagrees with you. Then have just have a lively debate with your transparent 'peers'.

The second was in an interview with a self proclaimed 'Dr. Global Warming' (Somehow, his name escaped me) I was listening to on NPR the other day. Apparently, new climate data points to global cooling trend, which is all part of the grand plan for global warming (Which he predicted all along). This may seem I can hardly blame the good doctor for waving the GW banner around while saying 'its getting colder in here guys!' Apparently, at any sign of disbelief in the dogma you are cast out of the temple.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kill all the Pirates

In case you missed it, the Maersk Alabama got hijacked again. This time however, the crew was armed and repelled the invaders with guns. Although the racket making device LRAD was used, it was ineffective. So the crew 'escalated' their response appropriately.

I am not in favor of conflict if it can be avoided, but certain acts deserve an appropriate response backed by force. If you are attacked whether on the high seas or in your own home, you have the right to defend yourselves with deadly force whatever the attackers supposed 'intentions'. I disagree with those piracy apologists that spurt some half baked lunacy that the pirates are usually only interested in money. Therefore, the best response is to roll over and take it. I doubt the honorable intentions of pirates.

Similar thinking set the circumstances for the 9/11 hijackings. Probably the single most effective deterrence is the crew and passengers' willingness to deal with difficult situations by force rather than formalized capitulation. Its our duty to stop the enemies of Liberty whether they be Islamic terrorists, Somali pirates, looters, or common thugs, by confronting them with appropriate force. To do otherwise is to weaken the foundations of our civilization and embolden our enemies.

With Freedom comes responsibility - Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, September 04, 2009

Back to school speech

I find it particularly disturbing that some schools are choosing not to show President Obama's 'Back to school speech'. The fact that this censorship is even happening before the content of the speech is published is even more disturbing. For Pete's sake. Whatever the message, he is our President. Its right and appropriate that he be able to address his constituents whatever their age. If paranoid over-protective parents wish, they can withhold their children from school or write an excuse. But for this to be twisted and manipulated for political purposes is disgraceful and disrespectful to the office and the nation.

We elected him by both majorities. Whether I agree with his policies or not, I believe that his pulpit gives him the right to address our schoolchildren. I doubt that the speech will be much more than an inspirational pep talk. I feel that its right and appropriate to do so. Its not like the President is going to give a speech on the evils of abstinence or trying to convert them to believe in subversive Democritarinism. Hopefully it will inspire some jaded youths to some higher calling.

Is he really that divisive a figure that we are willing to disrespect our highest office to spite him. What have we lost? What happened to patriotism, to loyalty? Are we that afraid of an alternative opinion that we must sequester our children from their whispers? The truth should be able to stand for itself. 'The height of silly season' seems a proper characterization.